[New GM] Questions #1-5


Banded Mongoose
Books Read So Far ™: Explorer’s Edition, Core Rulebook Update 2022, Companion (ps. 1-40), The Third Imperium (Chapters 1-6)
Primary Online References:
Q#1: Where can I find a good reference source for determining height/weight and Male/Female names by species (Imperial Human, Imperial Aslan, Imperial Vargr, Imperial Bwap)?
Q#2: Is there an online App, Software, Program, or Website where I can input two coordinates of space and get an output of distance and travel times (say from Capital/Core to Markun/Cadion)?
Q#3: Is there an “in universe” short story or novel that gives the perspective of an Imperial Space Marine doing an orbital drop? (I have so many questions about how these operations are undertaken…)
Q#4: In Fantasy Grounds Unity VTT, do the various Jon Brazer Enterprises DLC (Compendiums, Worlds, and Star Battles series) work well with the baseline rulesets with regards to ease of integration and game balance?
Q#5: In the DriveThruRPG / Mongoose / Travellers’ Aid Society section there are a LOT of PDFs (especially the “vehicles” line by Colin Dunn) that look very interesting and well-reviewed, before I dive into them, is there any lore or game balance issues with these community created contributions I need to be aware of?
I appreciate all assistance in learning about these subjects, and many more as I work my way through many, many, oh Dear and Mighty Great Ones ™, so many sourcebooks and decades of lore for this awesome Science Fiction RPG I recently picked up and will be running a demo session soon. :)
Q1: Aliens of Charted Space (#1 for the Vargr and Aslan; #3 for the Bwap) would cover naming conventions, and those will generally still apply within the Imperium. Height-Weight I'm not so sure about, but the picture on P53 of the core book gives a general impression of height and you can expect about as much variance as you find among humans.

(Imperial vs non-Imperial won't really matter here; subspecies does matter for vargr, but the 2E books assume that you're dealing with "standard" vargr, which are far and away the most common.)
Q2: Nope, because it would depend on the jump capability of your ship which route you could even take. And whether you avoided amber/red zones or other issues. Not to mention the actual time would depend on if you wilderness refuel or fuel at a starport and how often you give your crew shore leave so they don't go insane.

Q3: Don't recall seeing one. Agent of the Imperium gives a lot of cool insight into the game world, but not that bit.

Q4/5: There's nothing imbalancing about any of that stuff. Whether it serves any purpose or not depends on whether you expect to actually need more ships and worlds and random generation charts.
Q#3: Is there an “in universe” short story or novel that gives the perspective of an Imperial Space Marine doing an orbital drop? (I have so many questions about how these operations are undertaken…)

I'd be very curious to see something canon myself, but I don't know of one.

I have to assume it was primarily inspired by Starship Troopers (book not movie). Which is definitely not Third Imperium, but still worth reading for inspiration once if you haven't. Some elements, such as the drop pods ablating away into radar-reflecting metal strips, are worth stealing again for color in your game.

And more generally, although it is more work, some questions about Traveller are best answered by reading the primary inspirations. Although Traveller the game, and the Imperium the setting, are both a mish-mash and their own thing by now, it's helpful to know how we got here. A short list is any one of the Dumarest of Terra novels by EC Tubb (there's a bunch but they're stand alone), one novel by H Beam Piper (Space Viking is the usual recommendation because of the number of call-outs in Traveller, but really several hit similar themes, especially The Cosmic Computer), one of the early pulp authors like AE van Vogt - I recommend his The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the short story The Black Destroyer became the first chapter of Beagle if you need something shorter. Then, someone will come along to point out what I'm missing, but that's a start.

What's great about TravellerMap is you can make it player-facing, and let players pick their own routes. Need to qualify it as "all information is from library data and may be incomplete or out of date" so you've got room to work as GM, but still.
Q3: yes, there actually is!

The Wagner Incident https://a.co/d/8UZOELi

Author Matthew Kerwin got the express permission of original Traveller game designer and license holder Marc Miller. Very enjoyable read!
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